How to Read a Car Tire Code from Size to Year of Production

You may often see a code located on the outside of a car tire in the form of an embossed print. Car owners usually already know or at least are familiar with the code. However, not a few new drivers or ordinary people do not know about car tire codes and their meanings.

As a very important part of the vehicle, tires have a service life that lasts for a certain period of time. Because of that, tires are one of the parts of a vehicle that are often replaced if their condition is no longer in prime condition.

So what exactly is the meaning of the code on a car tire that has been clearly visible on the surface of the tire and how do you read it?

How to See Car Tire Code Size

The code on car tires is generally located on the surface of the car tire on the edge and is easy to find because it is in the form of letters and numbers that are embossed. The series of numbers and letters have important meanings, ranging from the type, size, to the recommended speed limit and maximum load of car tires.

Yes, through this code, vehicle owners can get important instructions about the condition of their car tires. Understanding the meaning of car tire codes can also help you when changing tires, so you don't choose the wrong tires and stay comfortable when driving.

Then how to read the correct car tire code? Here are the instructions you can follow.

How to Read Car Tire Codes

After you understand the location of the car code, the next step is to understand the meaning of the code on the car tire. For example, here is how to read a car tire code with a series of numbers and letters P 205/65 R 15 94 H as shown below this picture.

Car Type (P)

The letter P at the beginning of the code indicates the type of tire intended for passenger vehicles. P itself has the meaning Passenger. which means that the tire is appropriate for transporting passengers or everyday cars that have been widely used so far.

Even so, many passenger car tire manufacturers do not include this car tire letter code. If there is a "P" on the sidewall before the row of numbers, it means "passenger car". This refers to an American tire sizing method called P-metric.

In addition to "P" there are other letter codes such as ST, LT, and T. Especially for T which means temporary, this car tire is a spare tire and is not recommended to be used for a long time.

The following is a table of car tire codes based on the vehicle's designation.

Letter code Meaning of tire code
STSpecial Trailer
LTLight Truck

Tire Tread Width in Millimeters (205)

Then there is the number 205, this number is a car tire size code that shows the width of the tire tread in millimeters and is recommended for use by the vehicle in question when it is attached to the rim.

Judging from the number from the code on the car tire above, it means the car in question must use tires that have a width of 205 millimeters. Of course these sizes vary, some have a larger size, for example 205 millimeters, and so on.

Of all the meanings of the numeric code on car tires, this is the most important number to understand because it tells you how big a tire is.

Tire Height Ratio in Millimeters (65)

If previously there was a unit of width, this time there is a unit of height from the number that comes after the slash. The number 65 indicates if the size of the tire height is determined based on the ratio of the previous width number.

More clearly, if the number 205 is a measure of the width of a car tire, then the number 65 indicates the tire height is 65 percent of the width, which means that 65 percent x 205 millimeters is equal to 133.2 millimeters.

The calculation method is the same if the ratio shows a different number, for example 75 means 75 percent, and so on.

Type of Tire Construction (R)

After the number 70, the R code will appear again separated by a slash. The R code is the construction type code for the tire in question.

R shows the construction of tires using Radial coating which is common for passenger vehicle tires and is widely used in everyday life. Besides R, there are also other types such as bias or diagonal type, as well as RFT type or Run Flat Tire/Tyre.

In general, tire construction is divided into two, namely radial and bias which are distinguished based on the shape of the thread that constructs them. This difference affects the performance and the type of vehicle that is suitable for wearing tires on both types.

Car Wheel Diameter (15)

Car tire code R is generally followed by a number such as 14 or 15. This number determines the diameter of the car's wheels to be fitted with tires. If certain cars have 15-inch alloy wheels, you must use ring size 15 tires.

There is also R14, which means certain tires can only be mounted on car wheels that have a size of 14 inches. Generally, car tire sizes are available with diameters ranging from 12 inches to 22 inches.

Load-Bearing Ability (94)

Going into the most important and many types, the code number 94 indicates the maximum load that can be supported on a particular car tire. This maximum load is indicated by the tens digit behind the tire diameter.

Based on the provisions, the number 94 indicates that a car fitted with tires with this code is able to withstand a total passenger load of 670 kg.

Just like other parts, this one code also has various provisions, where the larger the number, the greater the passenger load or baggage that can be carried from each car.

For clarity, the following is a list of car tire size codes that indicate the load-bearing ability of each tire used.

Car tire code table for load index
Load indexMaximum loadLoad IndexMaximum loadLoad IndexMaximum loadLoad IndexMaximum load
60250 kg80450 kg100800 kg1201,400 kg
61257 kg81462 kg101825 kg1211,450 kg
62265 kg82475 kg102850 kg1221,500 kg
63272 kg83487 kg103875 kg1231,550 kg
64280 kg84500 kg104900 kg1241,600 kg
65290 kg85515 kg105925 kg1251,650 kg
66300 kg86530 kg106950 kg1261,700 kg
67307 kg87545 kg107975 kg1271,750 kg
68315 kg88560 kg1081,000 kg1281,800 kg
69325 kg89580 kg1091,030 kg1291,850 kg
70335 kg90600 kg1101,060 kg1301,900 kg
71345 kg91615 kg1111,090 kg1311,950 kg
72355 kg92630 kg1121,120 kg1322,000 kg
73365 kg93650 kg1131,150 kg1332,065 kg
74375 kg94670 kg1141,180 kg1342.125 kg
75387 kg95690 kg1151,215 kg1352,185 kg
76400 kg96710 kg1161,250 kg1362,245 kg
77412 kg97730 kg1171,285 kg1372,305 kg
78425 kg98750 kg1181,320 kg1382,365 kg
79437 kg99775 kg1191.360 kg1392,435 kg

Car Tire Speed Code (H)

Until the last code, which is a letter that indicates the speed limit of the car that can be achieved when using certain tires. Because the car tire code above is in the form of the letter H, the maximum speed that can be achieved when using these tires is 210 kilometers per hour (km/hour).

Just like before, different provisions also apply to the level of code found on each tire. The following is a table of car tire codes based on the speed limit of their use.

Car tire table for speed index
Letter code Maximum speed
Q 160 km/hour
S180 km/hour
T190 km/h
H210 km/h
V240 km/hour
W270 km/hour
Y 300 km/hour
Z240 km/hour

If a conclusion is drawn, then the meaning of the car tire code P 205/65 R 15 94 His that the vehicle owner uses passenger type tires that have a tread width of 205 millimeters with a tire length ratio of 65 percent or as high as 133.2 millimeters, with a construction type tires compliant radials and 15-inch diameter wheels.

It is also highly recommended not to exceed the total maximum load capacity of 670 kg and the maximum speed limit of 210 km/hour.

How to Read Car Tire Production Code

Car tires, like any other product, have an expiration date. Tires that have expired will change their physical properties, such as hardened tire compounds and cracks appear on the tire walls. Therefore, it is important for you to understand how to find out the expired car tire code

According to information quoted from, generally car manufacturers determine the maximum age of tire use for 5 to 6 years. By knowing the car tire production code, you will know how long it will take for a car tire to be replaced immediately.

Then, how to see the car tire production code? You can find the year code of production in the DOT code row, it is located under the size code and specifications that we previously discussed. DOT code. DOT stands for Department of Transportation which refers to the Department of Transportation in the United States.

Pay attention to the tire production code in the picture above, it says the number 4020. The way to read it is as follows:

  • The first two digits (40) are the week the tire was manufactured (week).
  • While the next two digits (20) are the year of production (year).

So the 4020 car tire production code means that the tire is produced in the 40th week of 2020. Understanding the production year code is very important, especially for those of you who want to buy used car tires. Make sure you don't choose car tires whose production years are too far away, OK?

Tips for Choosing Car Tires

Choosing the right car tires is very important in your driving comfort and safety. After you understand how to read the code on car tires above, it's time for you to know how to choose the right car tires.

Here are some important things to consider when buying car tires.

1. Choose the Type of Tire According to the Type

It is important that you choose the type of tire that is right for your car type. For example, you want to look for tires for SUVs that are often used for cruising through rough terrain, Mud Terrain (M/T) tires might be considered.

Besides Mud Terrain (M/T) there is also an All-Terrain (A/T) type that you can consider for SUVs because this type of tire is more flexible for all terrains. If you don't want to bother, it's better to just match it with the original manufacturer's tires.

2. Pay Attention to the Tire Size

Before buying tires, it is very important to understand the size of car tires that suit your vehicle. Tire size affects a lot, you know. Starting from the direction of the main lights, the height of the car to the level of acceleration.

To read tire sizes, you can follow the instructions at the beginning of the discussion above, yes.

3. Consider the Speed Rating

Speed ​​rating is important for you to consider before buying car tires because it is related to safety. Ideally, you do not drive the car more than the limit or tolerance of the car's tires.

4. Use Tires of the Same Brand

This may seem unimportant, but it actually needs to be understood. By using the same car tires for each side of the car, you minimize the differences in the details of each car tire.

Even though it is very small, the difference in detail in car tires can have significant consequences such as an unstable vehicle speed. You can consider some good car tire brands like Bridgestone, Michelin, Dunlop, and GT Radial.

5. the Pattern of Suitable Car Tires

Choosing a car tire pattern or motif is also very important. It is recommended to use car tires with a V tread pattern because they have higher friction with the road surface.

When driving on wet roads, the V tread pattern is also tough enough to bulldoze the terrain without worrying about the risk of slipping. Car tires with a V pattern can maintain their position and keep the vehicle running in balance.

When Should a Car Tire Be Replaced?

Why is tire age important to pay attention to? As we know, tires are made from many organic and natural materials. Like other organic materials, the rubber compounds in tires degrade over time.

Exposure to environmental oxidation, sunlight, weather, etc., contributes to the degradation of the material which affects the quality of your tires. How long is the service life of car tires?

Actually, car tire manufacturers provide a maximum tire life limit of up to 10 years from the date of manufacture. After 5 years of use, you need to check regularly to ensure its performance.

As a preventive measure, you can replace your car tires after 3 years or have traveled 40,000 km. Some cars may be used more often over long distances so using kilometers may be more accurate.

In addition, you can use the signs below to find out if it's time for a car tire to be replaced:

  • The tread thickness of the tires has exceeded the TWI limit.
  • Tires began to bald in the middle.
  • There is a lump that appears on one side.
  • Car tires began to crack.
  • Tire tread that starts to lift (usually experienced by cars that often pass through damaged roads)

tread Wear Indicator Code to See Tire Quality

In addition to the methods above, you can also find out when you should replace your car tires by looking at the tread wear indicator (TWI).

The TWI indicator is a triangle on the side of the tire and a square protrusion between the flowers or grooves of a car tire. Its function is to determine whether the tires have been too eroded by the asphalt or not.

So, the rule is simple, if the two indicators are level with the car tire tread, then it's time to replace your car tire.

Provide Protection from Car Insurance to Cover Service Costs at the Workshop

Some vehicle owners really like to be involved or deal with detailed things such as choosing and changing their favorite car tires so that they understand the various types of codes on car tires. However, there are also vehicle owners who do not have the free time to choose the ideal car tires.

Don't worry, you can rely on partner repair shops from the car insurance you have. Besides being able to consult and ask questions about your vehicle, partner auto repair shops can also be relied on because insurance companies usually choose a repair shop with a good reputation as their partner.

Having car insurance can also help you avoid financial losses in the event of an accident or unexpected disaster because it is a financial management product that guarantees risks such as repair costs due to minor or total damage.

Take the following Auto Insurance Agencies car insurance quiz if you still haven't found an insurance product that suits your needs.

Thus the discussion about car tire codes, hopefully detailed information on how to read this car tire code can be well understood and useful.